Monday, October 29, 2007


What if they mated? Listen, not everyone's a raving beauty. It didn't stop Ben Stiller from making movies or Sarah Jessica Parker from becoming a sex symbol.
Two of my favorite singers could be considered a bit strange in both looks and vocals. Critics have considered Del Shannon's voice to be a little harsh.His octave range was something else again, since he was capable of a literally haunting falsetto. Physically, a charitable pronouncement would be that he had brooding good looks.

As for Juice Newton, I don't think critics have considered her at all, but she possesses such a beautiful nasality, you'd want to kiss her right on the beak. Unlike Willie Nelson, the girl can also belt, and on her show-stoppers in live performance, she can grab and sustain a note with exquisite pleasure and pain. Physically, some might consider her to have the flinty charm of a pretty, and pretty work-weary waffle house waitress.
Over here at the illfolks blog, we'll just say that Del Shannon, the Poe of Falsetto, is the dark horse Dark Knight of pre-Beatles pop, who was also the first to cover a Beatles tune Stateside, and produced great work in the 70's and 80's, even if this later work was unjustly neglected in his lifetime. And still is. He was also the writer for most of his hits, and also wrote songs that became famous for others, like "I Go to Pieces" for Peter & Gordon.
As for Juice Newton, she's as quirky as a breakfast of orange juice and Fig Newtons, but even sweeter. Known primarily for her cover of "Angel of the Morning," she can rock out with the best. She's also perked the world up with a brand of country-pop so comfortable you might forget it's on, or what it took to craft it.
From a live Juice Newton concert, she covers the Del Shannon-written "Cheap Love" and then sinks her teeth into one of her fruit chews, her niftily crafted minor hit, "Love's Been a Little Bit Hard On Me."

Cheap Love/Love's Been a Little Bit Hard On Me

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